Over the next few weeks until the start of training camp, I will be unveiling a small series called: Who Would You Rather Have and pit current Colts players against similar NFL counterparts, with a winner chosen for each match-up. While I understand this a Colts website and bias might be involved, I’ll make sure to keep it as objective as possible.
Colts Offensive Line vs. Eagles Offensive Line
The Eagles have consistently fielded one of the strongest offensive lines over the past decade. Led by future Hall of Famer Jason Peters, they have had strong pass and run units. They have two very strong offensive tackles in Peters and Johnson, and a strong interior group with one weaker player in Seumalo. It’s an older group of players with Peters being the grandpa at 37 years old. The Eagles did draft Andre Dillard to be the future at left tackle, he will have extremely big shoes to fill and spread offense offensive tackles don’t often translate well to the NFL.
The Colts unit may not be as consistent as the Eagles unit, as they are a young, new group, but they have just as much talent and are 4 years younger overall. If you go through each group individually, you’d see that the Colts have an advantage at left tackle (Castonzo over Peters), left guard (Nelson over Seumalo), a draw at center (Kelly and Kelce), a slight disadvantage at right guard (Brooks over Glowinski) and a clear disadvantage at right tackle (Johnson over Smith). The reason why Castonzo is more valuable than Peters (and Kelly is more valuable than Kelce) is due to the age advantage and the talent similarities that the Colts possess with both players.
With the age advantage and the talent being very similar, the Colts get the edge for this one.
Colts Offensive Line vs. Chiefs Offensive Line
The Chiefs had one of the best offensive lines in the league last year, led by star right tackle Mitch Schwartz. While there is a strong argument that the Colts were stronger at 4 of the 5 offensive line spots last season, both units played very similarly throughout the season. The Colts offensive line got stronger as the season went on, while the Chiefs had some hiccups later in the season and had some inconsistencies without Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff. Nevertheless, both units still performed at very high levels.
What separates the Colts from the Chiefs is their age and the fact that Castonzo is better than Fisher, Nelson is better than Erving, Kelly is better than Reiter (who is a new addition to the Chiefs) and that Glowinski and Duvarnay-Tardiff are very close. The Chiefs are only stronger at their right tackle spot, so this battle isn’t too tough to handicap. The Colts come out on top.
Colts Offensive Line vs. Patriots Offensive Line
The Patriots always seem to have an elite offensive line and it doesn’t seem to matter who their left tackle is, they’ll find a way to perform. They went from Nate Solder to Trent Brown to Isaiah Wynn and yet there has been no drop off. Isaiah Wynn is essentially going into his rookie season so that is the only unknown for the Pats offensive line heading into 2019-2020. The Patriots have one of the best offensive line coaches of all time in Dante Scarnecchia, and they boast a unit with a lot of very young and talented veterans (no, that isn’t a contradiction). With the exception of Marcus Cannon, three of their starters are 27 or younger and have at least 3 years of starting experience. The average age of a starting Colts offensive linemen is 26 years old, compared to 27 years old for the Patriots.
The Colts essentially match the Patriots in terms of age, and, while they have the talent advantage, they don’t have a coaching advantage, so the question becomes what’s more important: coaching or talent?
I believe that the consistency edge for the Pats is larger/better than the gap in talent, so the slight edge goes to the Patriots on this one. That was tough to write...